Ruth 2

1 Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz. 2 Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me now go to the field, and glean amongst the ears of grain after him in whose sight I find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 She went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4 Behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “May The LORD be with you.” They answered him, “May The LORD bless you.” 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was set over the reapers, “Whose young lady is this?” 6 The servant who was set over the reapers answered, “It is the Moabite lady who came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers amongst the sheaves.’ So she came, and has continued even from the morning until now, except that she rested a little in the house.” 8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Don’t go to glean in another field, and don’t go from here, but stay here close to my maidens. 9 Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them. Haven’t I commanded the young men not to touch you? When you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink from that which the young men have drawn.” 10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 Boaz answered her, “I have been fully told about all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn’t know before. 12 May the LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given to you from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” 13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not as one of your servants.” 14 At meal time Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some bread, and dip your morsel in the vinegar.” She sat beside the reapers, and they passed her parched grain, and she ate, and was satisfied, and left some of it. 15 When she had risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even amongst the sheaves, and don’t reproach her. 16 Also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it. Let her glean, and don’t rebuke her.” 17 So she gleaned in the field until evening; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 She took it up, and went into the city. Then her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned; and she brought out and gave to her that which she had left after she had enough. 19 Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? Where have you worked? Blessed be he who noticed you.” She told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, who has not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead.” Naomi said to her, “The man is a close relative to us, one of our near kinsmen.” 21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “Yes, he said to me, ‘You shall stay close to my young men, until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that they not meet you in any other field.” 23 So she stayed close to the maidens of Boaz, to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–3

Observe Ruth’s humility. When Providence had made her poor, she cheerfully stoops to her lot. High spirits will rather starve than stoop; not so Ruth. Nay, it is her own proposal. She speaks humbly in her expectation of leave to glean. We may not demand kindness as a debt, but ask, and take it as a favour, though in a small matter. Ruth also was an example of industry. She loved not to eat the bread of idleness. This is an example to young people. Diligence promises well, both for this world and the other. We must not be shy of any honest employment. No labour is a reproach. Sin is a thing below us, but we must not think any thing else so, to which Providence call us. She was an example of regard to her mother, and of trust in Providence. God wisely orders what seem to us small events; and those that appear altogether uncertain, still are directed to serve his own glory, and the good of his people.

Verses 4–16

The pious and kind language between Boaz and his reapers shows that there were godly persons in Israel. Such language as this is seldom heard in our field; too often, on the contrary, what is immoral and corrupt. A stranger would form a very different opinion of our land, from that which Ruth would form of Israel from the converse and conduct of Boaz and his reapers. But true religion will teach a man to behave aright in all states and conditions; it will form kind masters and faithful servants, and cause harmony in families. True religion will cause mutual love and kindness among persons of different ranks. It had these effects on Boaz and his men. When he came to them he prayed for them. They did not, as soon as he was out of hearing curse him, as some ill-natured servants that hate their master’s eye, but they returned his courtesy. Things are likely to go on well where there is such good-will as this between masters and servants. They expressed their kindness to each other by praying one for another. Boaz inquired concerning the stranger he saw, and ordered her to be well treated. Masters must take care, not only that they do no hurt themselves, but that they suffer not their servants and those under them to do wrong. Ruth humbly owned herself unworthy of favours, seeing she was born and brought up a heathen. It well becomes us all to think humbly of ourselves, esteeming others better than ourselves. And let us, in the kindness of Boaz to Ruth, note the kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ to poor sinners.

Verses 17–23

It encourages industry, that in all labour, even that of gleaning, there is profit. Ruth was pleased with what she gained by her own industry, and was careful to secure it. Let us thus take care that we lose not those things which we have wrought, which we have gained for our souls’ good, 2Jo 1:8. Parents should examine their children, as Naomi did, not to frighten or discourage them, so as to make them hate home, or tempt them to tell a lie; but to commend them if they have done well, and with mildness to reprove and caution them if they have done otherwise. It is a good question for us to ask ourselves every night, Where have I gleaned to-day? What improvement have I made in knowledge and grace? What have I done that will turn to a good account? When the Lord deals bountifully with us, let us not be found in any other field, nor seeking for happiness and satisfaction in the creature. We lose Divine favours, if we slight them. Ruth dutifully observed her mother’s directions. And when the harvest was ended, she kept her aged mother company at home. Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land; her vanity ended in disgrace, Ge 34. Ruth kept at home, and helped to maintain her mother, and went out on no other errand than to get provision for her; her humility and industry ended in preferment.

Back to Top